Thursday, January 23, 2020

Catching Up with Condesa

Prior to renting the condo in the neighborhood of Nápoles where I am now, I had rented several Airbnb apartments in Condesa.  Although Condesa suffered heavy damage in the 2017 earthquake, it remains one of my favorite "colonias" in Mexico City.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon roaming around my old neighborhood.

I headed first to the building on Amsterdam Street where I had rented an apartment at least a half dozen times.  That building was severely damaged in the earthquake.  At one point I had heard that it was going to be torn down and a new apartment house built in its place.  On my previous trip to Mexico City I passed by the building and found a barricade along the street and netting covering the structure.  There was a sign that said that "due to damage from the earthquake of September 2017, this property is in the process of reconstruction." 

"Reconstrucción"... I had interpreted that word to mean that the building was going to be repaired.

When I saw the building yesterday, the barricade was still there and the net fabric still covered the façade.



But looking through the netting, I could see piles of rubble on each floor.  Workers were inside, and I could hear the sound of sledgehammers.  Occasionally a piece of concrete would fall to the ground within the netting.  Obviously, this building which I knew so well was being demolished.  

"Reconstrucción" … the building was being torn down and rebuilt.

Just a few doors down Amsterdam Street was another apartment building.



The sign here said that the property was being "rehabilitado"... rehabilitated.  So I assumed that this building is being repaired... and hopefully strengthened... rather than demolished.

Just around the corner on Alvaro Obregón Avenue is one of the most tragic sites from the '17 earthquake.  Here an office building collapsed killing dozens of people.  The site has been cleared, and construction of a new building is going up.





On the corner of Amsterdam Street and Sonora Avenue a high-rise apartment building was severely damaged.   It is finally being demolished.  (It once stood more than twice as tall as this.)





I remember a pharmacy here on the corner of Michoacán and Insurgentes.  Now half the city block has been razed, and a luxury apartment building will soon be built here.





This severely damaged building still stands abandoned more than two years after the quake.




The Superama Supermarket where I used to shop when I stayed in Condesa was closed after the earthquake.  It has now reopened.




On a more cheerful note, despite the earthquake damage, Condesa remains one of the most charming neighborhoods in Mexico City.   Parque México is the focal point of the district.



This sign which dates back to 1927 when the park was first established made me laugh.  It says, "For no reason is eating permitted in the park."  Nowadays on a weekend afternoon the park is full of snack vendors.


This guitarist provided soothing background music for a stroll through the lovely park.